That's a very good question Heather!
In a perfect world, all children would have the same rights. For those wondering what the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child is, here is some information on it:
The Convention acknowledges that every child has certain basic rights, including the right to life, his or her own name and identity, to be raised by his or her parents within a family or cultural grouping and have a relationship with both parents, even if they are separated.
Article 5 of the CRC states:
States Parties shall respect the responsibilities, rights and duties of parents or, where applicable, the members of the extended family or community as provided for by local custom, legal guardians or other persons legally responsible for the child, to provide, in a manner consistent with the evolving capacities of the child, appropriate direction and guidance in the exercise by the child of the rights recognized in the present Convention. There are several other articles as well that I do not have handy at the moment. I know Gershom could state what those are.
According to Amnesty International, 193 states are party to the Convention , almost all the members of the United Nations, save the United States and Somalia. The United States and Somalia have signed the Convention, but never completed their ratification processes. Canada has ratified the "CRC" but has not fully implemented the Convention in Canadian domestic laws.
Built on varied legal systems and cultural traditions, the Convention is a universally agreed set of non-negotiable standards and obligations. These basic standardsâ€”also called human rightsâ€”set minimum entitlements and freedoms that should be respected by governments. They are founded on respect for the dignity and worth of each individual, regardless of race, colour, gender, language, religion, opinions, origins, wealth, birth status or ability and therefore apply to every human being everywhere. With these rights comes the obligation on both governments and individuals not to infringe on the parallel rights of others. These standards are both interdependent and indivisible; we cannot ensure some rights withoutâ€”or at the expense ofâ€”other rights.
The Convention on the Rights of the Child is the first legally binding international instrument to incorporate the full range of human rightsâ€”civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights. In 1989, world leaders decided that children needed a special convention just for them because people under 18 years old often need special care and protection that adults do not. The leaders also wanted to make sure that the world recognized that children have human rights too.
The Convention sets out these rights in 54 articles and two Optional Protocols. It spells out the basic human rights that children everywhere have: the right to survival; to develop to the fullest; to protection from harmful influences, abuse and exploitation; and to participate fully in family, cultural and social life. The four core principles of the Convention are non-discrimination; devotion to the best interests of the child; the right to life, survival and development; and respect for the views of the child. Every right spelled out in the Convention is inherent to the human dignity and harmonious development of every child. The Convention protects children's rights by setting standards in health care; education; and legal, civil and social services.
By agreeing to undertake the obligations of the Convention (by ratifying or acceding to it), national governments have committed themselves to protecting and ensuring children's rights and they have agreed to hold themselves accountable for this commitment before the international community. States parties to the Convention are obliged to develop and undertake all actions and policies in the light of the best interests of the child.
EDIT to add more info from Wikipedia: "The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, often referred to as CRC or UNCRC, is an international convention setting out the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of children. It is monitored by the United Nations' Committee on the Rights of the Child which is composed of members from countries around the world.
Governments of countries that have ratified the "CRC" are required to report to, and appear before, the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child periodically to be examined on their progress with regards to the advancement of the implementation of the "CRC" and the status of child rights in their country. Their reports and the committee's written views and concerns are available on the committee's website.
All member nation states (countries) of the United Nations, except the USA and Somalia, have ratified it, either partly or completely. The United Nations General Assembly agreed to adopt the Convention into international law as an advisory resolution on November 20, 1989; it came into force on September 2, 1990, after it was ratified by the required number of nations. The Convention generally defines a child as any person under the age of 18, unless an earlier age of majority is recognized by a country's law."
Unfortunately, our government has higher priorities than children & does not see fit to honor the UN Convention on the rights of the child. Adoptees are probably just one of their many reasons why they are not interested in doing so.